DBRLive strides forward with version 6.5
As Supponor unveils the latest version of DBRLive, we look behind the scenes to find out more about the product which is transforming the face of stadium billboard advertising.
DBRLive 6.5 is the culmination of years of work by our dedicated team of software and hardware engineers in Espoo, Finland, supported by the operations team based in the UK.
Together they gather feedback, throw around ideas – and make it their mission to improve yet further the revolutionary Digital Billboard Replacement product.
Some plans are so ambitious the necessary software is years in the making. Other, more straightforward improvements are satisfyingly easy to implement. Significant developments in the new DBRLive 6.5 system include:
- Integration with host systems is easier, further sharpening picture definition and quality
- Less work is required by the host broadcaster in areas including audio, colour balance and signal transmission
- The system can better distinguish between billboard shades and tones, as well as making virtual graphics appear more realistic
- A totally new workflow dubbed “local insertion”, means DBRLive’s bandwidth requirement is constant and there’s no limit to the number of advertising streams it can create.
DBRLive is a constantly evolving product and the development team is too proud of what it’s achieved for anyone to rest on their laurels. But DBRLive 6.5 represents a notable leap forward in their work, says Supponor’s CTO Vesa Suontama.
“6.5 is a huge progression in what was already an impressive product,” he says. “It has many improvements on earlier versions and far more usable by third parties. It’s now ready to see the world.”
DBRLive is a combination of an optic attached to host broadcast cameras and a system which seamlessly replaces only the billlboard adverts in different live broadcast streams. It instantly recognises the stadium’s billboards and integrates replacement billboard ads into the live feed.
It does this in real time, incorporating any obstructions in front of the billboard, so viewers see an uninterrupted live feed with natural-looking billboard advertising. Multiple live feeds can be generated from the same camera, allowing rights-holders to effectively sell the same space several times over – and advertisers to send tailored adverts to different TV audiences.
DBRLive is produced by Supponor’s strong development team in Espoo, aided by another outsourced team in Belarus. Because Supponor is a specialist company producing no other product, their entire focus is on how to make it better. And they have a constantly- updated list of suggestions.
“We’re always discussing the next project and prioritising ideas,” says Suontama. “We’re very lucky in that everybody has the drive and the perfectionist streak - as well as the talent – to see those ideas through.
“Francisco Socal, the Technical Product Manager, Jan Sandbacka, Project Manager and Niko Nevatie, the Software Architect, do a great job in marshalling everyone’s ideas and effort into a successful project.
“Seeing all those ideas come to fruition, as we have with version 6.5, is very good news indeed.”
DBRLive has already been successfully used in broadcasts from indoor and outdoor sports events at venues like Wembley Stadium, London, the Pieter van den Hoogenband Swimming Stadium, Eindhoven, and some other international stadiums.
Other stadiums and major broadcasters Europe-wide spotted DBRLive’s potential early and were happy to open their doors to Supponor during its vigorous testing programmes.
“We’ve been into the master control rooms of some of the most high profile broadcasters to see how they operate,” says Suontama. “We learned a lot about how their environments and the best solutions for integrating with their systems.”
Feedback from such visits, along with test runs at high profile sporting events around Europe, was added to live performance reports from Supponor’s UK-based operations team.
All was funnelled back to the development engineers, who reviewed the data to pinpoint any room for improvement.
“It’s nice to see all our accumulated knowledge come together with this new product,” says Suontama. “We’re certainly very proud of it and I think it will be very popular with rights holders and advertisers.”